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EPA Seeking Public Input on Three Cleanup Decisions on Camp Edwards

Release Date: 06/11/2012
Contact Information: Jeanethe Falvey, (857) 366-0627

(Boston, Mass-- June 11, 2012) – The EPA is proposing decisions for the Former A Range, Former K Range and Gun and Mortar Positions located on the Camp Edwards portion of the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR).  The Army National Guard’s Impact Area Groundwater Study Program (IAGWSP), under the oversight of EPA and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), has investigated potential contamination related to former military training activities, and has issued reports on those investigations for these areas.

The public comment period begins June 11, 2012 for a final Cleanup Decision outlining the proposed decisions for the sites. This public comment period runs through July 10, 2012.

The environmental investigations included geophysical work to assess the presence of munitions, and sampling and analysis of soil and groundwater. The work at the site was conducted under the authority of EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act Administrative Orders, as well as in consideration of the cleanup standards of the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP).

The findings are summarized in a recent Fact Sheet linked below which outlines comment instructions. After the comment period ends, EPA will consider the public comments, consult with MassDEP, and issue a Decision Document providing the details of the actions selected for the sites. With the Decision Document, EPA will include a Responsiveness Summary that provides responses to comments received during the public comment period. MassDEP will issue its official position in a comment letter after the public comment period has ended.

The Former A Range (also known as the Former Gravity Anti-Tank Range) is an inactive anti-tank artillery and rocket practice range that was constructed in 1941. It is located on the west side of Camp Edwards and originally functioned as an anti-tank artillery and rocket practice site until the 1960s. The range was later converted to a machine gun practice area. As a result of the environmental investigations at this site, it is proposed that Limited Action is necessary, this includes environmental monitoring and land use controls to protect monitoring wells.

The Former K Range is located on the eastern side of Camp Edwards, adjacent to Greenway Road and south of Wood Road. It was constructed in 1960 and was used as a 3.5-inch rocket range until 1967. In 1968, it was converted to an M79 grenade launcher range. After the mid-1960s, the northern portion of the range was extended to 2,000 meters. There are no known records of the types of munitions used on the extension. After the 1970s, the eastern end of the Former K Range was converted to a pistol range and renamed P Range, as it is currently known today. Given the investigations at the site, the cleanup authorities recommend No Further Action for the Former K Range.

Additionally included in this latest round of decisions are 24 gun positions and 13 mortar positions located south, west, and northwest of the impact area. The earliest known usage of any of the Gun and Mortar positions began during the World War II period starting around 1940. Several different types of artillery were used, but the most common were howitzers firing 105 and 155 mm artillery shells. The most common mortar rounds fired at MMR were the 60 and 81 mm. The firing of HE artillery rounds was discontinued in 1989. Practice rounds were fired until the USEPA moratorium on live artillery and mortar firing at Camp Edwards was established in 1997. As with Former K Range, it was determined that there were no long term environmental threats at the site and No Further Action is recommended.

Information about these proposed decisions will be presented as the first agenda item during the MMR Cleanup Team Meeting at 6:00 p.m., June 20, 2012 at Building 1805, West Outer Road on Camp Edwards. Representatives from the Army’s Impact Area Groundwater Study Program (IAGWSP), the US EPA, and the MassDEP will be available at this meeting to answer questions on the proposed decision for each of the sites.

Comments are to be submitted by mail to Jeanethe Falvey, US EPA, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 Mail Code ORA 20-1, Boston, MA 02109-3912, by fax to 617-918-0020 or by email to falvey.jeanethe@epa.gov.

Link to Fact Sheet: http://www.epa.gov/region1/mmr/pdfs/505881.pdf

Regular public meetings (http://states.ng.mil/sites/ma/resources/erc/calendar.htm) are held on or near the MMR with representatives from the EPA, Massachusetts DEP, and the Army and Air Force cleanup programs.

EPA cleanup work at MMR (http://www.epa.gov/region1/mmr/index.html)

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